transhumanism is a huge field encompassing many topics and arguments. concsiousness, what does it mean to be human, bio ethics, genetic modifications, nanotechnology, science, future technologies, spirituality, information technology, biopolitics, medical improvements, body enhancements, human computer interaction ... the list goes on
the World Transhumanist Association defines transhumanism as :
Transhumanism is a way of thinking about the future that is based on the premise that the human species in its current form does not represent the end of our development but rather a comparatively early phase. We formally define it as follows:
(1) The intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
(2) The study of the ramifications, promises, and potential dangers of technologies that will enable us to overcome fundamental human limitations, and the related study of the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies.
It is not our human shape or the details of our current human biology that define what is valuable about us, but rather our aspirations and ideals, our experiences, and the kinds of lives we lead. To a transhumanist, progress occurs when more people become more able to shape themselves, their lives, and the ways they relate to others, in accordance with their own deepest values. Transhumanists place a high value on autonomy: the ability and right of individuals to plan and choose their own lives. Some people may of course, for any number of reasons, choose to forgo the opportunity to use technology to improve themselves. Transhumanists seek to create a world in which autonomous individuals may choose to remain unenhanced or choose to be enhanced and in which these choices will be respected.
Through the accelerating pace of technological development and scientific understanding, we are entering a whole new stage in the history of the human species. In the relatively near future, we may face the prospect of real artificial intelligence. New kinds of cognitive tools will be built that combine artificial intelligence with interface technology. Molecular nanotechnology has the potential to manufacture abundant resources for everybody and to give us control over the biochemical processes in our bodies, enabling us to eliminate disease and unwanted aging. Technologies such as brain-computer interfaces and neuropharmacology could amplify human intelligence, increase emotional well-being, improve our capacity for steady commitment to life projects or a loved one, and even multiply the range and richness of possible emotions. On the dark side of the spectrum, transhumanists recognize that some of these coming technologies could potentially cause great harm to human life; even the survival of our species could be at risk. Seeking to understand the dangers and working to prevent disasters is an essential part of the transhumanist agenda.
Transhumanism is entering the mainstream culture today, as increasing numbers of scientists, scientifically literate philosophers, and social thinkers are beginning to take seriously the range of possibilities that transhumanism encompasses. A rapidly expanding family of transhumanist groups, differing somewhat in flavor and focus, and a plethora of discussion groups in many countries around the world, are gathered under the umbrella of the World Transhumanist Association, a non-profit democratic membership organization.
-- via http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/WTA/faq21/46/
IEEE's Singularity list @ http://spectrum.ieee.org/singularity
singularity - that pivotal moment when machines attain superhuman intelligence
http://transhumanism.org/images/uploads/transflash.swf - an intro web video
http://studiesinthetranshuman.blogspot.com - the blog from a transhumanist university course held at Arizona State University (USA)
Human-computer interaction scientist Karl MacDorman has produced an illustrated video lecture on the psychology of the uncanny valley - the effect where androids become creepy when they're almost human.
2. Form Dynamics Contingency
3. Human Perception
4. Do Looks Matter?
5. Android Science
7. What makes a robot uncanny?
& MacDorman's paper on the Uncanny Valley where he morphed android faces with human ones (using Philip K Dick as the human face!) and measured how the images trigger differing feelings of familiarity, eeriness and the like
Robot Face Mimics Human Expression: Crosses Uncanny Valley
Bio Ethics article in the Age : Where are the ethics in brazen bioethics? by Michael Cook (2004)
World Congress of Bioethics - conference site
Better Humans site - news from around the world, blogs & articles
Methuselah Foundation website - extending healthy human life. they have a Prize : "The Methuselah Mouse Prize is the premiere effort of The Methuselah Foundation‚Ñ¢; a scientific competition designed to draw attention to the ability of new technologies to slow and even reverse the damage of the aging process, preserving health and wisdom in a world that sorely needs it".
Longevity meme - encourages healthy life extension
Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) = "a proposed way to develop a cure for aging."
Next Nature website - highlighting the nature caused by human culture
BVPS - Biggest Visual Power Show by Next Nature : The Biggest Visual Power Show is an intellectual spectacle blending a conference and a pop concert. BVPS mixes movies and live performance, morphs physical experiences into virtual imagination. The theme of BVPS 2008 is Next Nature; the nature caused by human culture. Nowadays, children know more corporate logo's and brands than bird or tree species. Our established image of nature needs to be updated. Our technological world has become so complex and uncontrollable it has become a nature of its own. Wild systems, genetic surprises, autonomous machinery and beautiful black flowers. Nature changes along with us. with Kevin Kelly & Eric Davis. photos @ http://www.nextnature.net/powershow2008/pictures.php